The Legacy of Parmenides. Eleatic Monism and Later Presocratic Thought.
Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1998. XV,280p. Cloth wrps. Nice copy. 'As should be obvious from the title, The Legacy of Parmenides is a very ambitious book. Curd undertakes a thorough exposition of Parmenidean philosophy, from his influences to his immediate successors, while dealing with most of the relevant post-war secondary literature. The book reads somewhat like a commentary, quoting, translating, and commenting on the Greek text, according to the traditional ordering of the fragments. In addition to the exegesis of Parmenides' poem, Curd provides interpretations (as well as relevant texts and translations) of the Ionians, the Pluralists, Zeno, the Atomists, Melissus, Philolaus of Croton, and Diogenes of Apollonia. Specialists with an interest in any of these figures and movements will need to deal with Curd's positions and will benefit from her survey of the contemporary literature. (...) According to Curd, the standard interpretation of Parmenides portrays him as an isolated figure, largely unprecedented and more or less ignored by his successors, at least until Plato's 'later' dialogues. (...) This interpretation, whether or not it is standard, is an extreme one and Curd's is at the opposite end. She portrays the Pre-Socratic philosophers as a tight-knit bunch with ample access to each other's positions, engaged in a continuous dialectic, the results of which were invariably cumulative and progressive. There is something productive about this methodological assumption: the texts mutually illuminate one another when their arguments are cast as entries into a huge metaphysical debate spanning multiple centuries and continents. But historical concerns threaten to undermine such an endeavor, and so Curd asks the reader to accept her chronological assumptions in exchange for the results of her interpretations. (...) The results are indeed impressive. (...) Some of the most interesting results turn up in Curd's treatment of Zeno and the Atomists.' (MONTE RANSOME JOHNSON in Bryn Mawr Classical Review 1999.06.21).